When it comes to marketing your business, are you looking for a vendor or a partner?
Before we get into that, let's take a moment to talk about the difference between the two.
A vendor takes orders. They are very good at checking boxes and making things happen quickly. A vendor is cheap. There is a clear exchange of currency for services. A vendor is not concerned with your Q3 sales or how your board makes decisions. They answer the call and process the order.
A partner is invested in your business. They care about the details and the outcomes of the work that they do for you. A partner thinks and acts like an owner, taking into consideration cost, timeline, ROI, quality of product and seamless customer service. They call you.
When you are hiring an advertising agency, freelancer or consultant, There are many different variables that go into the hiring decision, such as scope of work, timeline, long-term goals, strategic involvement and, of course, budget. As you think about these variables, I challenge you to consider two other factors: expertise and commitment.
Whether you’re aiming to increase your brand awareness, boost sales in the short-term, introduce a new product, or just need an extra set of hands, your decision for a marketing or advertising company should include gauging the level of expertise and commitment to improving your company’s bottom line.
The nature of your future partnership with this company should be rooted in a strong relationship and a collaborative environment, but it should also be clear from the start that your partner is committed to helping you as a marketer, not just cranking out copy or graphics or video whenever you tell them to. A true marketing relationship, and one that both parties benefit from, is a fluid, flexible, respectful, committed exchange of ideas.
Do you want an agency who will wait for you to give direction, or do you want a team who is constantly thinking about better ways to grow and enhance your brand? Do you want a passive group of creators who do the assigned work or do you want a proactive, strategic team who recommend next steps?
The former offers quick, cheap service. The ladder offers strategic, premium expertise.
So, ask yourself, are you looking for a vendor or a partner?
Toucan is a New Orleans-based advertising firm.